Crow’s Feet
Published in

Crow’s Feet

You’re Not Funny, You Old Fart

Cautions for Hoary Humorists

Peter Pan, in general, is a liar. Regarding humor, even more so.

After far too long slaving away for the Big Machine, many “experienced” people have time to write. The “lack of time” excuse is no longer valid. Yeah, yeah, there has always been time, if one makes it. But that manufacturing task is much easier when one is done trading a huge chunk of time for daily bread.

Even so, nowhere-near-young writers struggle with the ego driven task of reaching one’s audience. It’s a mystery. A long tunnel with minimal illumination.

“If I could only get them to read just one…”

So it’s only natural to check out what kind of humor gets published on Medium. And where. Consensus says the funniest publication is “Saggingmandible.”

Upon exhaustive investigation, and even actually reading a few posts, it appears there are additional hurdles for a “mature” person. One can’t help but notice the strange references, the unfamiliar experiences treated as common, and the general tone.

It is instructive to note that the Medium spellchecker does not even recognize “fogey” as an actual word.

Those who grew up with rotary dials and party lines are not aware of half the trendy apps that do all manner of things an old fogey doesn’t realize anyone could possibly need. And for connecting you to what you need, even with all her invasive listening habits, 9 of 10 fogeys prefer Mabel the Operator to Siri.

So here are a few cautions for the venerable, as Mabel might suggest.

SNARK

Reading the posts in Saggingmandible, one can’t help but notice the high snark content. At least 40 proof. But snark requires an edgy willingness to offend by pointing out the foibles of others. Just doesn’t sound like the province of the “mature.”

Then again, being offensive could be a gray-hair’s strength. Probably unintentionally. “Whaddaya mean? That’s not racist or sexist or whateverist, Bright-eyes! It’s just the way it is!”

PROFANITY

There is so much unnecessary profanity. Reading an enjoyable bit of humor, one is suddenly sidetracked by mention of a “mother-fornicator.” What a cop out! Shock value only.

“Look at the words I can use,” says Scarlett. “Ain’t I cool!?!”

Well, no, not really. And “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” There is value in profanity for emphasis or in dialog, but it is often overused. It’s a crutch inserted when creativity fails. Why use “mother-fornicator” when “STD-laden sex addict” will do quite nicely? And are all but first children somehow denigrated because their father was a motherfucker? (Emphasis, of course!)

SEX

It’s just not so relevant anymore. One could dredge up the past … maybe about that time .. or maybe the other time when .. gosh, are all those memories really gone? Better check for pulse. Is it the same in the groin?

Whore moans and hormones are less important in the Blue Zones.

Peter Pan has failed us. Even while doing one’s best to honor the part of the bargain about never growing up, one grows old. Thus any contributions to a publication like Saggingmandible have to be made without the standard youthful tools.

But perhaps there are readers who find humor in the trickery of failing memory, or the unintended noises made by old men.

“Just not on Saggingmandible,” says Mr. Pan.

And yes, this piece was rejected by that publication.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Randy Fredlund

Randy Fredlund

I Write. Hopefully, you smile. Or maybe think a new thought. Experiences and observations are presented in words and images.